Thomas Mather: Business and Politics in Early Illinois

Thomas Mather was an early Illinois settler, businessman, and politician who served as a member of both branches of the Illinois legislature.  His father, William Mather, fought in the Revolutionary War, and Thomas was also a direct descendant of New England minister Cotton Mather. Thomas Mather was born in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1795. He became a successful merchant in New York City, and in the spring of 1818, Mather migrated to Kaskaskia, Illinois.

As he settled into life in Illinois, Mather quickly become involved in both business and politics. He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1820 and served four terms, including a term as Speaker of the House from 1824-1826.… Read More